Tag Archives: Jung

The person of Carl Gustav Jung and a classical interpretation of his theories.

The power of symbols

Crosses at West Kirby Marine Lake

Why do dozens of people stand in near-freezing temperature for an hour, holding two planks of wood, saying very little, and for no reward?  In what has become an annual event at West Kirby, at 10:30am on Good Friday, local churches surrounded the Marine Lake – with the sole aim of holding up a cross for anyone in the vicinity to see.

The symbol of the cross unites more than two billion Christians across the globe.1  But – you might ask – what makes it different to other images that are also recognisable across the world – such as the McDonalds, Apple or BMW logos?

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Jung’s regret over “I don’t need to believe, I know.”


Jung’s most famous televised quote came after he was asked if he believed in God. He replied, “I don’t need to believe, I know” (Jung 1959a, p. 428). His reply caused some furore at the time and, in the decades since, it has been quoted by many – such as Richard Dawkins who cites it as an example of blind faith (Dawkins 2006, p. 51).

Jung immediately regretted his answer – because of it’s controversial, puzzling, or ambiguous nature (Jung 1959b). To understand why, we need to take a look at the context of the interview, and the background of Jung’s attitude towards God.

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